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peace; and as much obedience as could be expected after fo rude a fhock had been given to government, and after fo long a continuance of public difturb. ances: That in this bill à bafis was laid for fuch fatisfaction in the minds of all fober people in America, as would enable government to fix and fettle, if common prudence were employed in its future conftruction and management. He appealed to the confciences of the members; exhorting them not to truft to general good intention, and to an opinion, that what they were doing was for the fupport of government, when it was far from evident, that, under the name of government, it was not the ambition, the intereft, the ignorance and obftinacy of particular men, that they were supporting; that they were bound not to give confidence, where rational grounds of confidence did not appear; and that anarchy inftead of government, and civil confufion instead of peace and obedience, would be the confequence of an en. couragement given by that Houfe to a blind perfeverance in measures which were not conceived with wifdom, or conducted with ability.
abfolutely filent about the right; but confined itself to giving fatisfaction in future; and that it laid down no general principles which might tend to affect the royal prerogative in other particulars : That in all human probability the prefervation of the other branches of the prerogative was owing to the clear and abfolute furrender of this.
He then moved that the ftatute de tallagio non concedendo might be read.
He obferved, That this ftatute confifted of three capital parts; a renunciation of taxing, a repeal of all statutes which had been made upon a contrary principle, and a general pardon. He then read a bill which he had formed on the model of that act, and fhewed its conformity to the spirit of it, fuppofing G. Britain to stand in the place of the Sovereign, and America in that of the fub. ject: That the circumstances are not indeed in every refpect exactly parallel, but that they are fufficiently fo to juftify his following an example that gave fatisfaction and fecurity on the fubject of taxes, and left all other rights and powers whatfoever exactly upon the bottom on which they ftood before that arrangement had been made.
He then gave his reasons for not adopt ing the method which (though not propofed in the House) has been frequently fuggefted in converfation by feveral friends and well-wishers of America.
And first he mentioned the propofal for repealing the declaratory act of 1766; which, he faid, was a thing impoffible; for if that act were repealed, it would be a denial of legislative power, as extenfive as the affirmation of it in the act fo repealed.
He next confidered the propofition for repealing all the acts fince 1763. This he fhewed likewife to be impoffible, without ruining the whole fyftem of the trade-laws, and fome of thofe laws alfo which are extremely beneficial to America: That all the laws which leaned upon the colonies, and were the caufe or confequence of our quarrel, were to be repealed in this bill; which made provi fion likewife for authorising fuch a negotiation as might tend to the fettlement of all thofe leffer matters, to the mutual advantage of the parties.
He faid, he was confident, both from the nature of the thing, and from information which did not use to fail him, that this bill would rettore immediate
peace. The first part of his fpeech endeavours to prove, that war was impracticable; his fecond part, that the mixt plan, as he calls it, must be a feries of fruitless perplexities. He fays, it was neceffary to difpofe of, as he expressed it, these two ideas first, that he might make way for the third, his own plan. In his manner of acting, he has juftified the propriety of moving the previous queftion; because, Sir, if his plan cannot be confidered till the mixt plan, which he fuppofes to be the minifter's plan, is difpofed of, we ought to know, firft, what that plan is. The fpeech from the throne informs us, that there is fome plan of pacification; we may take affurance, that the minifters muft lay that before us; according, therefore, to the Hon. Gentleman's own method preferibed, we muft difpofe of that, before we can come to the confideration of his plan. But if there was not that reafon from his own idea of the method of proceeding. I cannot but think it decent, to confider first that plan of which the fpeech from the throne has given the firit notice, and not to fuffer it to be anticipated by the intervention of any previous plan. If that gentleman had on any occafion given notice, that he would offer to the Houfe propofitions on any particular fubject; and if, after fuch notice, any other gentleman fhould endeaYour to anticipate him, by getting a previous day; I would certainly, in fuch cafe, move the previous question on that gentleman's motion, as I fhall on this of the Hon. Gentleman to-day.
He says, Sir, fuch is the state of this American bufinefs, that we muft either change their fentiments by negotiation, or fubdue the rifing fpirit; that we cannot fubdue the spirit which is up by war; that we cannot change it by any ne. gotiation which, while war lafts, we can enter into; we must therefore previously make conceffions; we must difaYow our declaration; repeal our acts; fue for peace, and the Americans will give it to us, on his plan: we muft previously regain their confidence "by removing the ground of the difference." On the plan he propofes, we fhall reftore the former unfufpecting confidence of the colonies. This, Sir, is the very queftion now before you. Let us then confider the conceffions which he propofes, and examine, by the best rule and only judge in this cafe, experience, what effect thefe conceffions will have. He
fays, that as the Americans did, on the repeal of the ftamp-act, refign themselves to their unfufpecting confidence, fo will they now, if his plan is adopted; and he has read from the Journals of the Congrefs their words as his authority. But as he has not read all their words, let us fee how the whole ftands. "After the repeal of the Stamp-act, say they, having again refigned ourselves to our ancient unfufpicious affections for the parent-ftate, and anxious to avoid any controverfy with her, in hopes of a favourable alteration in fentiments and meafures towards us, we did not prefs OUR OBJECTIONS against the abovementioned ftatutes made fubfequent to that repeal." So far, then, it appears, from having no fufpicions, they had objections; objections to acts paffed fubfe quent to the repeal; and these acts are fpecified in their refolves and proceedings to be, acts of 1766, the declaratory act, and the act for granting duties in lieu of others repealed. When, Sir, inftead of alterations of fentiments and measures towards them, one law was made, propofed by this gentleman's friends, declaring a power to bind them in all cafes whatsoever; and one other, reciting, that although it was proper to repeal certain rates and duties, on account of their inexpediency, yet it was neceffary to grant others in lieu of them, to his Majefty, his heirs, and fucceffors, to be paid into the exchequer, and referved for the future difpofal of parliament; their content vanished, they relapsed into their fufpicions, they began to come forward with their objections; and the NewYork petition [xxxvii. 238, 9. 399.] was the firft fymptom of this. But, Sir, they not only were not, in fact, but they could not, on the principles from which they oppofed our fyftem, be content. They objected to all laws laying duties for the exprefs purpose of a revenue. The 6th Geo. III. c. 52. granted duties to his Majefty, his heirs, and fucceffors, to be paid as a revenue into the exchequer, and to be there at the difpofal of parliament. Many laws prior to this period gave and granted duties, and appropriated them to the purpose of revenue.
We have heard much of the act of na vigation; and, by fome mistake, gentlemen under that idea refer to the act of trade 25° Car. II. The act of navigation directs, that all the commerce of the colonies fhall be carried on in British L 2 shipping,
fhipping, and enumerates a certain number of articles of the produce of the plantations which are to be brought to England only. The act of trade fays, that there fhall be anfwered and paid to his Majefty, if bond fhall not be first given to bring fuch commodities to England, the rates there specified. Here we find the precife idea of duties laid as a regulation of trade. But in the year 1696, in K. William's reign, we find, for the first time, thefe duties converted into a revenue: they are directed to be paid whether bond be given or not: revenue-officers, under the direction of the Lord High Treafurer, are established. If, therefore, we are to repeal all acts which grant duties as revenue, in 1696, not in 1764, was the system changed? If, therefore, on that principle, we go back to 1763, we must of neceffì. ty go back to 1672. But left gentlemen fhould doubt whether duties granted to his Majefty were ever before 1764 appropriated to revenue, let them refer to the civil-lift act of the first of Geo. I. There they will find, that the plantation-duties, which, by the 25th Car. II. "were granted to his Majefty, his heirs, and fucceffors, for ever, fhall be brought and paid into the receipt of the exchequer, for the purpofes in this act expreffed," namely, the forming a fund for the civil
The Americans require the repeal of the poft-office act, of the 5th Geo. III. That act, Sir, laid no new duties; it made new regulations; but it was the poft-office act of the 10th of Q Anne, which granted duties in America for the purpose of enabling her Majefty to carry on the war. [xxvii. 674.]
It appears, therefore, as they were not, fo they could not be content with what was done in 1766.
in detail? By one ftatute it is declared, that parliament can of right bind us in all cafes whatsoever. What is to defend us against fo enormous, so unlimited a power?" [xxxvii. 424.]
Whatever expectations that gentleman may have of confidence from the Americans in confequence of this plan, he may be affured, that while the Americans are very willing to avail themfelves of the affiftance of him and his friends, other perfons will have their confidence. The gentleman and his friends bid as low as they can in confcience go; but others have bid lower: fome are ready to go back to 1763; 0thers think you fhould go ftill further. The Americans expect that we should go further; for see on what ground they put themfelves, when they afk only the repeal of the revenue and restrictive laws paffed fince 1763. Take it in their own words. Refolved, That the Congress do confine themselves at present to the confideration of fuch rights as have been infringed fince the year 1763, poftponing the further confideration of the general state of American rights to a future day."
From the first fpring of this fad bufinefs, having been for modes of policy in preference to meafures of force, I having always thought, and invariably faid, that your fyftem called for revifion and amendment, I have been against all par tial conceffions and repeals. I think it fhould be laid on some basis which is folid, and may be permanent; on fuch whereon the liberties of America being fixed, the fovereignty of the empire may be established. It should be taken up on fome great and general fyftem. And fuch I now expect, and fhall therefore, al though I give no negative, move the previous queftion.
Mr Graves, feconded the motion for the previous question.
But to come to the precife propofition of this day: It is a propofal of a bill formed on the refolutions which the Hon. Gentleman moved laft year [xxxvii. 178.]. It came laft year in refolutions, it is now formed into a bill. Why, Sir, fince this plan was propofed, the congrefs, reiterating their demand of the repeal of all the acts of revenue and refriction fince 1763, fpecify particularly the declaratory law, and the revende-a&t of 1766, which this bill particularly referves. After having recited fifteen heads of grievances, hear what they fay in their ew words: "But
Lord George Germaine faid, as he had held but cne conduct in this American bufinefs, as he had been direct and ex plicit in that conduct, he now entered into office on the fame principles, fame line of conduct, and hoped he fhould be always found decifive, direct, and firm in it.
On the point of the legislative autho rity of this country, he fhould always maintain that fovereignty which was e ftablished and founded on the conftitu tion. On the point of taxation, although he fhould never concede the
why should we enumerate our injuries right, he fhould never object to the
with-holding the exercise of it, if other modes could be adopted. But if we are to have no peace unless we give up the right, the conteft is brought to its fair iffue; our internal refources are great; and we can never defpair of that affiftance which we may want.
Gentlemen call for anfwers to feveral queftions; I ftand forth, as far as my judgement can, and my advice goes, to give an anfwer. Are we, fay fome gentlemen, to give up taxation? Are we to have no American revenue? I do hope we fhall; I trust we shall draw a revenue from America. Whether that fhall be by the exercise of our right of taxation, or whether by any other mode, I do not think material. If the Americans, willing to join their aid to the common fupply, and willing to fhare our common burdens with us, can propofe any mode which will make them easy, which will remove their fears and jealoufies; I fhall be ready to adopt it. I with they were in the fituation of the year 1763, if the government of this country was fo likewife. If our prefent fyftem is wrong, let us avow it; confider, and rectify it. They have a right to every liberty which they can enjoy, confiftent with the fovereignty and fupremacy of this country. Let them be happy. No body can with them more fo than I do. But I have never changed my opinion as to the legislative supremacy of this country. What I have always held, I now ftand in office to maintain.
the Americans now lie. If, by opening a door to retreat, the crown tries to induce them to lay down their arms, what can it do more? If they perfift in their appeal to force, the force of this country muft be exerted. The spirit of this country will go along with me in that idea, to fupprefs, to crush fuch rebellious refiftance.
As to the gentleman's propofition, I think it has been fully proved, that it would not answer the expectation of thofe in America, whose confidence he meant to gain; that it does not go fo far as they expected; not fo far as fome here would go; and previous conceffions, as gratuitous preliminaries, whether accepted or not, without any thing offered on their part, would put us on worfe ground, and remove the matter ftill further from the conciliation he propofes. I am therefore ready to give my negative to it, or rather, to join in the previous question.
Lord North.] I declare, that if I thought the motion would procure that conciliation which the Hon. Gentleman who made it has held out, I should be staggered. But it has appeared that this line of conceffion will not procure it; and it has been clearly marked to you, that this line is not fufficient. Therefore, were I of opinion with the Hon. Gentleman as to repealing all the acts he mentions, as I am as to fome of them, thefe conceffions would not procure the end he proposes, but put us upon ftill worfe ground, and remove us farther from any conciliation this country can agree to. I think, for instance, that thofe penal and reftrictive acts which have been indefinite as to the term of their operation, should be repealed, and the matter and purport of them thrown into one general act, framed to be enforced during the continuance of the war. The Hon. Gentleman [Mr Burke] has in his bill propofed to impower the King to call a congrefs in America. He has that power; has done it before; and may do it at any time. Befides, the propofed bill confines the power of the crown to treat only with the congrefs; therefore his Majefty can treat with no body elfe, if there were any perfons difpofed to offer terms of fubmiffion.
A little before four o'clock in the morning the previous queftion was put, That the queition be now put? The Houfe divided: Ayes 105, Noes 210.
A letter from Gen. Lee to Capt. Kennedy, of the 44th regiment.
Camp before Boston, Nov. 6. 1775. My dear Kennedy, Regularly every morning addrefs my prayers to all the gods, that they would pour down their choiceft curfes on the heads of that junto, who, by their politics, bid fair to fubvert the most goodly fabric that human wisdom, or the hand of accident, ever conftructed. The pillars on which the British confti. tution and British freedom were raised, I thought, were fo folid, that nothing merely human could have shaken them;
at least I Aattered myself, that their duration would have been greater than the glorious republics of Sparta or Rome. -But the devil, it feems, is of late grown more devilish: infead of being mischievously frolickfome, and driving down a herd of pigs from the top of a rock into the fea, he is become downright vicious; -instead of killing the camels and fheep of a private gentleman, (as in the affair of poor Job), he has raifed up a B-, M, and N-; and commanded them to prepare a dag. ger, and aim it at the vitals of all mankind, and their pofterity. I could mention fome higher agents, but as you are an officer, I think myself, in decency, obliged to refrain. - To return therefore to what I meant to say: When I have tired myfelf with curling the junto for their whole fale mifchief, I naturally defcend to the detail; and in the catalogue of complaints, the variance at which they have fet me with my particular friends and companions ftands at the head; and of this catalogue you, my dear Kennedy, have ever held the foremoft rank. I do not flatter, when I fay, (to use the language of Shakespeare),
Since my dear foul was mistress of herfelf, and could of men distinguish, her election has fealed thee for her choice."
Every circumftance confpired to our confonance: You have naturally a folid good understanding, with a dry motherwit; I (if it may not appear vain to fay it) am poffeffed of a fort of wild imagination, and unruly good fenfe; your phlegm and whimficality played a moft admirable counter-tenor, we of courfe never were at difcord; in fact I do not recollect an instance. when our ftrings
grated; upon the whole I know not a time fo harmonioufly. But to quit this man with whom I think I could pafs my mufical metaphor, and affume a graver ftyle, I moft fincerely lament, that from your eventual fituation, you find yourfelf imbarked in a moft wicked and infamous caufe. I lament that Fortune (combating against Nature) should have inrolled you under the standard of a more accurfed tyranny than history can parallel. Should you be fo perverted as not to admit of the wickedness of your cause, you must at least allow, that your circumftances are ridiculous; and I can affure you for your comfort, they will become more ridiculous every day. Can you, can any man in your whole army, feriously think the miniftry can fucceed? The great ground on which they feem to have proceeded, was the perfuafion that the colonies would not be unanimous. Of all the errors they have com. mitted (though their whole adminiftration has been one continued iffue of errors) this is the greatest. New York, on which they chiefly built, never was with them. It is true, a few placemen, penfioners, and expectants, flattered them with the hopes of defection; but the bulk of the people always thought and were determined to act with the reft of America. The flight of the great Mr Tryon on board a fhip, who had affured St James's, and was believed, of his almighty influence in that colony, is a teftimony of the truth of what I advance. Georgia has acceded to the union. The Canadians, who are very far from being the beafts your miniftry conceived them, are with us to a man. Is there a mortal breathing, then, not abfolutely a drivel ler, who can fuppofe the leaft probabili ty of fuccefs to thefe your mif-rulers? You will, I make no doubt, before this have heard of the reduction of Chamblee, chiefly effected by the Canadians. But I will not dwell upon fuch a fubject, left it should appear like exultation, unwor thy of thofe engaged in the glorious caufe of virtue and of liberty. Is our friend Dunbar with you? He must be ftrangely altered by bad company, if he is an enemy to Americans, and the princi ples on which Americans now act. On board fhip I am fure his language was one continued execration of ministerial conduct, more particularly with regard to this continent. But whatever he fays, whatever he does, I fhall and must con